Opportunities of the Intercultural Education in Teaching-Learning HistoryReport as inadecuate

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Acta Didactica Napocensia, v2 suppl 1 p35-42 2009

No one disputes today the fact that, for centuries, the diversity of traditions and cultures has been one of the major assets of both Europe and Romania, and that during the past decades the principle of tolerance has become the guarantee of a European open society aware of the importance of its cultural diversity. In this 21st century, in Romania and elsewhere, we need to shift the focus of tolerance from the social and political realm towards the field of human relations, because in the 21st century the concept of tolerance seems to be insufficient and limited. Thus, we need to move from a tolerant co-existence to an active collaboration (the most significant mutation should involve the replacement of "I tolerate" by "I respect"). First and foremost, this requires a knowledge of the past, and only then concrete practical and pragmatic actions. Of course, under these circumstances the education of both young people and adults plays a crucial role, as the majority must truly understand the problems of the minorities and accept and support the manifestation of their ethnic identity, by protecting their culture, religion, education, and languages. Therefore, both the authorities and the civil society must become involved in fighting discrimination and in the elimination of any form of extremism, chauvinism, anti-Semitism or territorial separatism, in supporting cultural diversity and in encouraging interethnic dialogue, in the development of civic multiculturalism as a part of the European identity. The paper proposes to emphasize on intercultural education during history lessons, insisting on the idea that intercultural education is not a new discipline taught in school, but an instrument through which the teacher uses the knowledge of his discipline in order to make the student sensitive to diversity and human solidarity. Approaching history from the perspective of intercultural education does not mean supplementary acquisitions, but emphasizing and resizing the permanent knowledge accumulation of a good professional. At the same time, the comparative study of history through an intercultural perspective leads to a better understanding by the students of the relation between the universal and the particular. History is an endless and extremely generous source of intercultural education which starts from the mere knowledge of the people's civilizations over the time and expands towards interpreting the consequences of intolerance, racism, xenophobia etc. The past offers the present a historical perspective and solutions for the future.

Descriptors: History Instruction, Prosocial Behavior, Minority Groups, Cultural Pluralism, Ethnicity, Self Concept, Racial Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, Social Discrimination, Racial Relations, Intercultural Communication, Religion, Native Language, Cultural Maintenance, Multicultural Education, Teaching Methods, Cultural Awareness, Comparative Analysis, Antisocial Behavior, History, Futures (of Society), Foreign Countries

Babes-Bolyai University. Kogainiceanu 1, Cluj-Napoca, 400084 Romania. e-mail: submit_adn[at]yahoo.com; Web site: http://adn.teaching.ro

Author: Bolovan, Sorina Paula

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2916&id=EJ1052276

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